Love Really Does Make You Do Crazy Things
- He grabs your ankle while you’re running up the stairs outside his house to get away from him. You fall, smash your chin, bite through your lip. You taste the blood. Get up. Where are your keys? Fallen on the ground with you. Reach for the keys.
No. He’s faster. He has them now.
He grabs your shoulders.
“I love you. I’m sorry”
He kisses you hard.
“Okay, just please stop”. You pull away. Good thing you left the car unlocked. You run, slam the door, lock yourself in.
Fuck. He has the keys. You battle with him as you press the lock button the side of the door, while he presses the unlock button on the key. He wins. He puts one foot in the side of the door, leans his body against you. You can’t move. “You can’t leave me. How could you ever leave me???” You scream, STOP, PLEASE, LET ME GO! You press on the horn on the steering wheel as hard as you can. You see neighbors start peering out their windows. You scream and you push him, hard. You’re crying, he’s crying, — no — wailing.
He throws the keys in your face. He gets in the front of the car. “If you’re going to break up with me you’re going to have to kill me”. A neighbor peeks their head out their door. “Are you okay?” “Yes, everything’s fine, thank you.” You start the car. He runs to the side of the car, banging on my window. “Baby, please, please, please stop”.
You put your car in drive and speed around the corner. You’re shaking. You drive down El Camino, you make the turn towards your house. You look in your rear view mirror. He’s followed you. Your phone is ringing with his specifically assigned ringtone. You make the turn to escape, but you don’t see the dog that has run in front of your car. You hit your breaks, swerve off the road. You hit her. You killed her. You get out of your car so fast you forget to put the car in park. The owner stands in the middle of the road, falls to his knees. “I’m so sorry this wasn’t your fault we didn’t put a leash on her she just ran in front of your car I’m so stupid what have I done I’m so- oh my god god please help me”
You fall to your knees too. But the dog rolls over. She gets up. She limps to her owner, she’s okay. How is this actually happening? You feel two hands on your back. It’s him. “Baby, what happened? Are you okay?” He holds you in the middle of the road. And he walks you home. While you hyperventilate in your living room he rubs your back. I love you, he says. I love you, too.
And suddenly, you forget what had even happened 20 minutes earlier. The next day, he buys you flowers and writes you a 4 page love letter apologizing for hurting you. You forgive him immediately.
That’s how the cycle works. `
This was just one of the violent instances I endured in my year and a half relationship. Little did I know my boyfriend would later turn to hard drugs, which served as an “excuse” to rape me when he was high. I told myself he didn’t mean it. He wasn’t thinking straight. I told myself every excuse to justify his actions, because I was in love with him.
2. He shows up unexpectedly to your home while your parents are out of town. He pushes you on the kitchen floor, he pulls your skirt up, he slams your head into the ground until you’re dizzy, you can’t see, you black out. You wake up to him writhing inside of you. A tear or two falls down your cheek. You say, hazily, “stop, please, I can’t see anything” Then you realize what’s happening. He’s raping you. You squirm your body away and he grabs both your wrists, pins them to the floor. You’re not going anywhere. You’re so dizzy you begin to throw up, choking on your own vomit. He gets off, you crawl your way to the bathroom, get up, lean over the sink, you vomit. You can’t hear him come up behind you but you know he’s there when he puts himself back inside you, while you continue to throw up. You find yourself at 5am in the middle of the living room floor, naked. You clean yourself up. You lay in the bath tub. And you wait for the sun to rise.
The next day he’s throwing rocks at your window, waiting in your front yard with an orchid (your favorite flower) and another love letter. You don’t let him in. So he climbs up the side of your house. He tapes the note to your window. “To my princess” it says. And you find yourself forgiving him, again.
6 months later you walk into your room and today you really notice the 3 orchid plants, the growing pile of candy, his apology letters on your desk, and the scent of dying roses. (all his means of apology)
Now, I am not saying I was a perfect girlfriend. I didn’t always have time for him, and my parents didn’t exactly like him, so I had to sneak around. I worried about him too much. He’d be out with friends at parties, would lie to me about it, and then be angry at me when I expressed how upset I was. I let him take over my entire life, until I was sharing my location via my iPhone indefinitely. Soon I’d found out that he had been cheating on me, a lot, with several girls. But surprisedly, that is the thing that hurt the least. I was so used to the physical harm he had caused me that this was nothing. It hurt, but he assured me that he would never do it again with another bouquet of red-tipped yellow roses. I believed him. This would continue for months to come.
Last December, I told my dad a sliver of information about what my boyfriend had done to me, sparing him from the information about his sexual assaults. I love my dad with all my heart. But he simply didn’t know what to do. He called my boyfriend’s parents and asked to meet with them. My “boyfriend” had equipped them with nasty lies to say about me, prompting them to threaten to get a restraining order ON ME if I ever spoke with him again. The next morning, I woke up to find my house and car had been vandalized. In the next couple days, we drafted up an application — full of harassing text messages, audio messages, voicemails, hundreds of missed calls — for a restraining order against him.
During this time, I had been cast as a lead in my high school’s musical which held rehearsals in the same building my now ex-boyfriend had water polo practice. I expressed my concerns to the director. I told him I didn’t feel safe, and I wasn’t sure I can accept my role because I would not be able to be in such close proximity to my ex. I found myself being attacked with questions, “Well what did you do to provoke that? Do you think he really meant to hurt you? Was he under the influence?” then, “Well, love really can make you do crazy things. We’ve all been through breakups. They’re hard.” Nothing came from that situation. The school simply asked him to park on the other side of campus so that we wouldn’t run into each other in the parking lot. He was the star varsity water polo player, and you get away with things when you have value to the school. Business as usual.
I began seeking therapy to help me cope. It seemed to be helping to unload all the wrongs he had done to me. But a day after my third session, 4 police men showed up to my home. They were to take me to the hospital because my therapist believed I was suicidal, who has provided them with just enough information on the physical and sexual assaults. I cried and told them that I was okay, but they took me to the hospital anyway. They placed me an empty room with a bed and a chair. No lights were on, and the door was locked from the inside. A woman cop entered and bluntly began to ask me to describe the details of my rape. I remained quiet. I didn’t want to report him for that! I just want him to leave me alone. “No.” I said. She tells me “if you don’t talk about it, you’re probably going to be here for a long time.” I told her I don’t care. She looks at me again and says “if you don’t report this, he gets away with it. And when he rapes another girl in a year from now, that’s on you.”
Suddenly I felt even more responsible for him raping me. “Okay”. I tried to gather my thoughts, but when I opened my mouth nothing came out and I exploded into tears instead. “I’m so sorry, please just not right now”. After spending a couple hours in the hospital, I was able to go home. The next day a detective followed up with my parents, explaining that he needs me to do an interview with me. I comply. I don’t know what to expect. But a couple days later, I’m in a room with 2 comfy chairs and a couch. I pick the couch. A woman walks in and explains to me that she deals with victims of domestic abuse, and that she would like to talk to me. She turns on the camera, lifts the blinds to reveal a one-way mirror, where a detective and district attorney sit. That day, we spent 5 hours talking through every detail of what he did to me. And to this day, it was one of the hardest days of my life. I had never said those things out loud before, and hearing them, reminding me what he had done, destroyed me.
You don’t feel like a victim when it all happens to you. You justify his actions and you place the blame on yourself. That day was the first day I realized that I was the victim. I really fell apart after that day. My family decided to withdraw me from school. I stayed home everyday for nearly two months. The only days I spent out of the house were in the police station making statements or going through evidence, and in my therapist’s office.
The detective investigating my case was kind to me. After hearing literally hundreds of voicemails from my ex boyfriend, threatening to kill himself, to smash my window unless I let him into my room, to break the locks on my back door, he told me that he is taking this very seriously. Next, I met the District Attorney. He tells me it will be a difficult case if they decide to prosecute. He also tells me it will take 4–6 months for a full investigation to determine if he will take the case. He assures me that he is a very busy man. As of December 3rd, it has been 6 months since I was told that. I have not received much word, other than to just wait. I am not hopeful that my case will be prosecuted. And I am too scared to call the detective, to hear that the DA has determined that my case would be too difficult to prosecute. When you look at statistics, 97% of rapists will not spend a day in jail. Rape cases are hard when you don’t have a rape kit, when all you have are vague texts of him apologizing for “hurting” or “forcing” you, saying that he won’t “do it” again.
I do not want to “ruin” my assaulter’s life. That was not the point of reporting what had happened to me. To be completely honest, he is a clever and talented young man, which was what made me fall in love with him in the first place. I think he has the potential for better things one day if he receives professional help. What I don’t want, what I can’t let happen is letting him think that it is okay to treat others the way he did to me. I don’t want him to hurt another woman because he didn’t receive consequences for what he did to me. I would take personal responsibility if he ever touched a girl. I hope to be the last person he ever assaults, and that is why I felt it was necessary to report his actions.
I want him to know that the physical and emotional scars he gave me weren’t minor. I wish he could see the tears well up in my father’s eyes when I explained what he had done to me, I wish he could see me crumble when I hear his name. I wish everyone could see that I am not seeking revenge for his actions, but standing up for myself in the only way I can, writing about it.